Gleason Performing Arts Centre transformed with Chauvet
Monday, 10 August 2020
fit-theatre3The theatre hosts productions by Florida Tech’s theatre department and outside performers
USA - Located adjacent to Florida Institute of Technology’s Joy and Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden, the Gleason Performing Arts Centre in Melbourne is among the first places students go during orientation. As the site of graduation ceremonies, it is also one of their last touchpoints with the school before heading out into the world.
In between, students will visit the modern, 483-seat facility numerous times for classes, guest lectures, and recitals, as well as productions by Florida Tech’s theatre department and outside performers. Not surprisingly, given the many ways that the facility serves the Florida Tech community, “versatility” was a watchword when the school upgraded its lighting to an all LED Chauvet Professional system in early 2020.
“We placed a premium on selecting fixtures that could do a lot of different things, because of the wide range of roles we play,” said Jeffrey Richardson, manager at the centre. “Being a totally student-run facility, we also wanted a lighting system that would be safe and user-friendly, while still able to provide the flexibility we needed.”
The Gleason Performing Arts Centre team found what they were looking for with an all-Chauvet Professional rig featuring 120 LED fixtures run on a ChamSys MagicQ MQ 80 console. “Prior to this upgrade, all we had were traditional incandescents, with no moving fixtures and no real ability to change lighting positions,” said Richardson. “We ran our entire system off a 400-amp dimmer pack. That system greatly limited what we were able to accomplish.”
Replacing the old system is a rig anchored by 10 Maverick MK2 Profile and 10 Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures, as well as 80 Ovation units. Used for stage and house lighting, the Ovation fixtures include 30 E-930 VW, 24 E-910FC ellipsoidals, 10 C-805FC cyc lights and 16 H 605FC house lights.
Florida Tech invested $200,000 in its new lighting system and an additional $50,000 in the video wall. Richardson is confident that the school will recover this investment through savings in power, gels and dimmers. “The efficiency of LED technology really allows it to pay for itself,” he observed.
On a creative level, the new system greatly expands design possibilities for students working at the proscenium theatre. “The new system puts much more power at our students’ fingertips,” said Richardson. “They can do things like change the focus positions for half the lights here at the push of a button. They can also create seamless colour changes throughout the theatre. A big benefit of having all the lights from Chauvet is that we can have a consistent colour palette throughout the building.”

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